Alistair Overeem fights Roy Nelson at UFC 185 on Saturday and could be on the fast track to a title shot. You don’t have to look really far to find out why Overeem, despite a lackluster .500 record in the promotion, is still a title contender.

The division

If you look at the fighters ahead of Overeem, who currently sits at #9, there’s not a ton of guys who are far ahead in title contention. After Junior dos Santos at #2, there’s a big group of guys that all could find their way to a title shot with two impressive wins. If Overeem beats Nelson, he’s two wins away from a title shot because of the lack of strong contenders in the division.

The draw

The name Overeem stills carries some weight among MMA fans. Maybe not the same kind of excitement that followed him when he first came to the UFC, but there’s still something there. In my opinion, an Overeem vs. Velasquez heavyweight title fight would be the most marketable matchup out of anybody in the top 10. Two more wins following a win over Nelson would make Overeem the best matchup for either Velasquez or Fabricio Werdum.

The dice

With MMA, there’s always the chance that somebody pulls out of a fight with an injury suffered in training. If you’re in the top 10 or named Joe Soto, you are always an injury-replacement away from fighting for a title. Take Miesha Tate for example, she fought Ronda Rousey for the title after losing because she was the most marketable and the most available fighter within that contender range.

About The Author

Blane Ferguson
Associate Editor/Senior Staff Writer

Blane can trace his MMA roots, like many others, to the finale of the first Ultimate Fighter season between Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin. After watching that incredible fight and cleaning the local Blockbuster of any recorded UFC pay-per-views they had, Blane was hooked on watching the sport and he carried that passion with him to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Blane is a four-year broadcasting veteran of ASU's campus radio including a founder and co-host of the station's combat sports show, The Final Round.